The Secret Service in Ukraine staged the death of a Russian journalist in order to catch his potential murderers. The announcement was made public in a press conference, along with the motivation behind this theatrical episode.
Arkady Babchenko is a dissident journalist from Russia who moved to Kiev with his wife and family in February 2017. He engaged in an elaborate scheme with the Secret Service in Ukraine in order to thwart a Moscow plot.
Ukraine announced this Tuesday, May 29th, that Babchenko, who is a critic of the Kremlin and a veteran war correspondent, was assassinated as he left his apartment in the capital of Ukraine to buy bread. He had been shot three times in the back. The person who discovered him lying in blood was his own wife. According to the report made on Tuesday, the journalist died on his way to the hospital.
The next step was made by Volodymyr Groysman, the prime minister of Ukraine, who urged to accuse the Kremlin of this “death” and even indicated that the journalist had been the victim of a plot due to his professional work. To make things seem even more realistic, the authorities have even released a sketch of the potential assassin, a middle-aged man who had a beard and wore a baseball cap.
However, things got even more surprising a few hours after the announcement of the journalist’s “death”, as the authorities, along with Arkady Babchenko, appeared in a press conference on Wednesday, May 30th. Mr. Babchenko was very much alive.
The Russian journalist said that this was all part of a very elaborate plan – a hoax, actually. The entire world’s media was fooled, this one’s for sure. No one, except those involved in this special operation, knew what was really happening, not even his wife.
Babchenko’s friends, family, and colleagues presented their regret towards what “happened” to him and even showered him with various posthumous tributes. Writers and journalists from all over the world were busy writing his obituary, but they didn’t have time to finish it, as Babchenko showed up alive in a press conference explaining why he had to fake his own death.
It appears that everything started about two months ago when the SBU of Ukraine had found out about a potential and “serious” plan involving his death. He was warned about this one month later. According to his statement, he said that the “government security services” in Moscow had started planning his “murder”.
“They [the SBU] showed me evidence and I understood that it was coming from Russia, probably from state security apparatus. They suggested I take part in a sting operation,” were his words.
His “death” was “scheduled” by Moscow on Tuesday night when the announcement was also made by Ukraine.
“I did my job. And I’m still alive,” Babchenko added, expressing his gratitude towards the special services in Ukraine for “saving my life”.
According to Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the SBU, a middleman who was only known as “G” had been contacted by various spy agencies from Russia and was even paid $40,000 in order to arrange the journalist’s murder.
“Firstly, I’d like to apologize for everything you’ve had to go through, because I’ve been at the funeral of many friends and colleagues, and I know this nauseous feeling when you bury your colleagues. Sorry for imposing this on you but there was no other way. Special apologies to my wife for the hell she’s been through these two days. Olechka, excuse me, please, but there was no other way,” Arkady Babchenko explained at the press conference.